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TO A BROTHER, WHO HAD BEEN AFFLICTED WITH A LONG SICKNESS.
MY Brother thou hast led a weary life,
A life of pain, and sleeplessness and woe,
So that thy mind pent in its burthen'd flesh
Hath often paus’d, and slept a sleep like death!
My Brother and my Friend—what shall I say
(Now that the weary glooms of winter come,
And find thee still stretch'd on a sick-man's bed)
To give thee aught of solace? Far from thee,
I hear the drippings of the twilight shower,
And the faint bodings of the wind which dwells
With nights of winter; far from thee I draw
My evening curtain, trim my fire, and light
My solitary taper; yet I think
On former days, and scenes of former love,
On many pleasures, and on many pains,
That we have felt in common: these will still
Croud in the visions of my soul, and bring
To my hearth's quietness, (when nought is heard
Save the faint startings of the ember, now
Glowing with permanent red) some shapes that live,
Like fleecy clouds in April sun-beams drest;
Till suddenly the meditating part
Will question of their being.
And visited by sorrows many and hard,
Thou'rt jostled through life's strange disorder'd mass!
That miracle which makes a wise man pause
At every day's report. Nor troubled less,
Thou wildlier buffetted, and with more strange,
And various shiftings, he, who fain this hour
Would dedicate his heart to thee! my Friend,
Different the means, though verging to one end;
Thou lyest on the bed of pain, and feel'st
The heart's faint fever, and the sickening thought
Pall'd with all living things; and I have known
A sudden pause, even in their mid career
Of joy and hope, I have been vex'd with wounds
Man may not heal, belike to both the same
Instruction given, the quietness induced,
The acquiescence to the will supreme,
The sovereign spirit sanctifying pain,
And mingling balsams with the cup of death.
OH! THOU WHO DRY'ST THE MOURNER'S TEAR!
OH! Thou, who dry'st the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,
If, when deceiv'd and wounded here,
We could not fly to Thee.
The friends, who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes are flown;
And he, who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.
But thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.
When Joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And ev❜n the Hope that threw
A moment's sparkle o'er our tears,
Is dimm'd and vanish'd too!
Oh! who would bear Life's stormy doom,
Did not thy Wing of Love
Come, brightly wafting thro' the gloom
Our Peace-branch from above?
Then, Sorrow, touch'd by Thee, grows bright
With more than rapture's ray;
As Darkness shews us worlds of light
We never saw by day!
IF that high world, which lies beyond
Our own, surviving Love endears;
If there the cherish'd heart be fond,
The eye the same, except in tears-
How welcome those untrodden spheres!
How sweet this very hour to die!
To soar from earth and find all fears
Lost in thy light-Eternity !
It must be so: 'tis not for self
That we so tremble on the brink; And striving to o'erleap the gulph,
Yet cling to Being's severing link.
Oh! in that fature let us think
To hold each heart the heart that shares,
With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs!
THE Sailor sighs as sinks his native shore,
As all its lessening turrets bluely fade;
He climbs the mast to feast his eye once more,
And busy fancy fondly lends her aid.
Ah! now, each dear, domestic scene he knew,
Recalled and cherished in a foreign clime,
Charms with the magic of a moonlight view;
Its colours mellowed, not impaired, by time.
True as the needle, homeward points his heart,
Thro' all the horrors of the stormy main;
This, the last wish that would with life depart,
To meet the smile of her he loves again.
When Morn first faintly draws her silver line, Or Eve's grey cloud descends to drink the wave; When sea and sky in midnight darkness join, Still, still he views the parting look she gave.
Her gentle spirit, lightly hovering o'er,
Attends his little bark from pole to pole;
And, when the beating billows round him roar,
Whispers sweet hope to sooth his troubled soul.
Carved is her name in many a spicy grove,
In many a plaintain-forest, waving wide;
Where dusky youths in painted plumage rove,
And giant palms o'er-arch the golden tide.
But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail!
Lo, o'er the cliff what eager figures bend!
And hark, what mingled murmurs swell the gale!
In each he hears the welcome of a friend.
-'Tis she, 'tis she herself! she waves her hand!
Soon is the anchor cast, the canvass furled;
Soon through the whitening surge he springs to land,
And clasps the maid he singled from the world.
WHAT! and not one to heave the pious sigh!
Not one whose sorrow-swoln and aching eye
For social scenes, for life's endearments fled,
Shall drop a tear and dwell upon the dead!
Poor wretched Outcast! I will weep for thee,
And sorrow for forlorn humanity.
Yes, I will weep; but not that thou art come
To the stern sabbath of the silent tomb:
For squalid Want, and the black scorpion Care,
Heart-withering fiends! shall never enter there.
I sorrow for the ills thy life has known,
As through the world's long pilgrimage, alone,